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Trust, but VerifyThe Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991$
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Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian F. Ostermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798099

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.001.0001

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Trust and Mistrust and the American Struggle for Verification of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, 1969–1979

Trust and Mistrust and the American Struggle for Verification of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, 1969–1979

Chapter:
(p.85) 4. Trust and Mistrust and the American Struggle for Verification of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, 1969–1979
Source:
Trust, but Verify
Author(s):

Arvid Schors

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.003.0005

This chapter explores the “politics of dialogue” put on display during the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) from 1969 to 1979 as one of the key components of détente efforts between the superpowers. Concentrating on how these talks were perceived by the American public, the chapter demonstrates how new verification technology seemingly compensated for the lack of trust among the negotiation partners and at first successfully redirected a deeply ingrained “distrust narrative” in public discourse. However, although the Carter administration's communicative strategy at the end of the 1970s explicitly disavowed any notion of trust with regard to SALT, the question of compliance and the belief in absolute verifiability and invulnerability ultimately became too punctured to retain its persuasiveness, thus contributing to the failure of SALT.

Keywords:   Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, SALT, détente, American public, verification technology, politics of dialogue, distrust narrative, public discourse, Jimmy Carter

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